We set out to make this baked version from Chocolate and Zucchini. Since we had no cottage cheese, we ended up making this steamed, dhokla-esque version. It was really soft and flavourful. We will be making this again with different veggies.
This dish will turn out well with fine semolina (sooji/rava) as well. We prefer cornmeal, ‘cos we get the wholegrain variety. Semolina is a refined product. So is regular cornmeal. Wholegrain cornmeal is available in several brands. The one in our grocery store is Hodgson Mill. An excellent online brand is King Arthur Flour.
We also think cornmeal has a better flavour than semolina.
STEAMED BROCCOLI-CORNMEAL CAKE
We served ours as a ‘sandwich’ with tomato-date chutney and cucumbers.
1.25 cups yellow cornmeal (fine semolina/sooji works too)
2 cups buttermilk (or 1.5 cups plain yogurt – we use low-fat – and 1/2 cup water)
1 tsp ginger-green chilli paste
1 tablespoon lime juice
3 cups very finely chopped broccoli florets
1 tablespoon oil
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1.25 tsps Eno fruit salt (or an equal amount of regular Alka Setlzer tablet powdered)
1 tsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp white sesame seeds
6-8 torn curry leaves
a pinch of sugar
1 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsps hot water
cilantro leaves for garnish
Toast the cornmeal until it starts giving off a good aroma. We usually toast it on a baking sheet on parchment at 375 F for 9-10 minutes when we bring it home from the store. We make the oven do double duty when it’s preheating for bread.
Add the buttermilk/yogurt, salt, green chilli ginger paste and oil. Let it soak for 20-30 minutes. Meanwhile, put the broccoli florets in a microwave safe dish, put water, and rinse. Make sure they are chopped very fine. Cover the damp florets with a plate, and microwave on HIGH for 2 minutes. We need them only half-cooked.
Put the veggies in the cornmeal mixture.
Put a large vessel or pressure cooker with about 3 cups water on the stovetop to heat. Grease a round pan or pressure cooker insert vessel, (we like a round of parchment at the bottom as additional insurance).
Add the Eno and the lime juice to the batter. It will rise and get all foamy. Put into the vessel, and steam. Do not use the weight if using a pressure cooker.
Keep it for 22-24 minutes on medium heat after closing the lid. Turn off the flame, let it rest for 2 minutes, and test with a toothpick. Run a knife around the edges and invert the pan on to a plate. Peel off the parchment.
Heat remaining oil, add mustard seeds, sesame seeds and curry leaves. When the mustard seeds pop, turn off the flame.
Mix the HOT water, sugar and remaining lime juice until the sugar dissolves. Pour into the seasoning.
Pour it over the cake.
Garnish with coriander leaves, cut into wedges and serve hot.
- Bee and Jai